He is demanding that lawmakers increase direct payments to Americans from $600 to $2,000. Mr Trump called for “increased payments to the people”, urging his colleagues to “get rid of the ‘pork’” from the legislation, which he has criticised for paying out aid to foreign countries.
The president also devoted some of his post-Christmas Day holiday to pushing yet more baseless claims about voter fraud at the election — a clear sign that he has no intention of throwing in the towel as the New Year approaches.
“The proof is irrefutable!” he said as he called on Senate Republicans to back his efforts to overturn the election result. “Massive late-night mail-in ballot drops in swing states, stuffing the ballot boxes (on video), double voters, dead voters.”
Donald Trump has lashed out at China as he continues to delay signing off on a $900bn Covid package aimed at helping Americans hardest hit by the pandemic.
“Remember, it was China’s fault!” Mr Trump tweeted in the early hours of Sunday. He has long sought to pin the pandemic on Beijing and now appears to be blaming it for America’s economic woes.
But his baseless voter fraud claims have lost support from his once-favourite news network, Fox News.
Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera launched a withering attack on the defeated president. “Sadly he lost a bitterly contested election,” Rivera tweeted. “However since he has behaved like an entitled frat boy.”
Some reaction to Trump’s refusal to sign off on Covid stimulus package
“It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority.” — President-elect, Joe Biden
“After spending some time with President @realDonaldTrump today, I am convinced he is more determined than ever to increase stimulus payments to $2000 per person and challenge Section 230 big tech liability protection.” — South Carolina senator, Lindsey Graham
“The reason it blindsided everybody is because they thought the President was involved when it was obvious he was sleeping on the job when it came to these negotiations. That’s what happens when you get too wrapped up in an election you already lost.” — Denver Riggleman, Republican representative for Virginia’s 5th congressional district.
ICYMI: Trump finds time to complain that Melania has not been featured on enough magazine covers, despite mounting crises
Despite the impending deadline on the Covid relief bill, a potential looming government shutdown, and the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases, Donald Trump still found time to lash out at fashion and lifestyle magazines.
Their crime? Not featuring first lady Melania Trump on their covers during the administration’s four years in office. Oliver O’Connell has the story:
Trump attempts to overturn election result are a ‘scam’, says GOP congressman
Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger has said Donald Trump and his allies’ attempts to overturn November’s presidential election results are an “utter scam” meant to “raise money and gain followers.”
Mr Kinzinger, representative for Illinois’s 16th congressional district, is one of those GOP lawmakers in the House refusing to humour the president and his false claim that he won the election.
He branded the president’s attempts to overturn the election result a “scam” designed to “raise money and gain followers.” James Crump has the full report below:
Trump tells GOP senators to ‘fight for the presidency’ as he pushes false voter fraud claims
Despite the electoral college meeting earlier this month to confirm Mr Biden’s election victory, a small but determined group of Trump loyalists in the House of Representatives is refusing to accept the result.
Reportedly led by Mo Brooks, representative for Alabama’s 5th congressional district, the group is planning a desperate last-ditch bid to overturn Mr Biden’s win when Congress meets on 6 January to ratify the EC’s certification.
But any move by Trump allies to overturn Mr Biden’s win would require support in the Senate, where it has so far been lacking. The president last night issued a rallying cry to GOP lawmakers who take their seats in the upper chamber.
“Time for Republican Senators to step up and fight for the Presidency, like the Democrats would do if they had actually won,” he said. “The proof is irrefutable! Massive late night mail-in ballot drops in swing states, stuffing the ballot boxes (on video), double voters, dead voters”.
Mr Brooks last week claimed that support for Mr Trump’s bid to subvert democracy was “growing” in the Senate, adding that “multiple” lawmakers are now rowing in behind the defeated incumbent.
He did not name any, however. John Thune, a Republican senator for South Dakota senator, disputed Mr Brooks’s claims, saying the effort is “going down like a shot dog.”
Donald Trump behaving like “an entitled frat boy”, says Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera
Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera last night branded the president “an entitled frat boy” over his attempts to overturn his election defeat to Joe Biden, the president-elect.
Mr Rivera had been a loyal supporter of Mr Trump throughout his four years in office, but that backing appears to have come to an end.
“For almost 4 years I’ve supported @realDonaldTrump who was assailed by leftist creeps who conjured the Russia Hoax to wreck his presidency,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Nevertheless he prevailed. Sadly he lost a bitterly contested election. Shit happens. However since he has behaved like an entitled frat boy”.
He also took a swipe at former Trump campaign lawyer, Sidney Powell, who has repeatedly pushed the president’s false voter fraud claims.
“Sidney Powell is a pathetic lawyer who among others is working to destroy the legacy of @realDonaldTrump,” he said.
Mr Trump continues to insist that the election was “rigged” and that Mr Biden “stole” the win from him. He and his legal team are yet to provide any evidence to back up those allegations.
Unemployment benefits for millions of Americans expire
Unemployment benefits for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet lapsed overnight as Mr Trump refused to sign an end-of-year Covid relief and spending bill that had been considered a done deal before his sudden objections
The fate of the bipartisan package remains in limbo today as the president continues to demand largerrelief checks and complained about “pork” spending. Without the widespread funding provided by the massive measure, a government shutdown would occur when money runs out at 12:10am on Tuesday.
“It’s a chess game and we are pawns,” said Lanetris Haines, a self-employed single mother of three in South Bend, Indiana, who stood to lose her $129 weekly jobless benefit unless Mr Trump signed the package into law or succeeded in his improbable quest for changes.
Washington has been reeling since Trump turned on the deal after it had won sweeping approval in both houses of Congress and after the White House had assured Republican leaders that Trump would support it.
Instead, he scoffed at the bill’s plan to provide $600 relief checks to most Americans — insisting it should be $2,000. House Republicans swiftly rejected that idea during a rare Christmas Eve session. But Trump has not been swayed in spite of the nation being in the grip of a pandemic.
“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” Trump tweeted Saturday from Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending the holiday. “Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork.”‘